Early in his career, Bill Keen knew he didn’t want to become just another captive employee at a large firm. The Visionary, founder, and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors began his career at a large “Wall Street brokerage firm.” There he found that as an employee, he was subject to layers of bureaucracy and conflicts. And it spurred him to set out to create an independent firm. As his firm grew, Bill struggled to balance serving his clients, managing his team, and giving his personal life the attention it deserved. But after Running on EOS™ for the last few years, he’s discovered how EOS creates freedom.
Freedom from Workaholism
When it feels like your business owns you instead of you owning it, you can feel like a captive employee. Trapped under a never-ending to-do list, most business owners choose to dig in.
They work harder and stay longer each day, trying to “catch up” and get the job done. But instead, they often find themselves burning out and neglecting friends and family, all while falling further behind. They become textbook workaholics, living to work instead of working to live.
Bill knows how that feels. Before EOS, he would open his eyes in the morning, and his first thought would be, “I’m behind.” The anxiety and overwhelm of what needed to be done continued to grow.
Three years ago, a peer group member suggested he check out EOS and introduced him to Expert EOS Implementer™ Deb Niewald.
“I was in the weeds and getting worn out,” Bill said. “Working with Deb, I got a chance to sit back and take a breath, just to let the process work. I didn’t have to figure things out. She can call things out as an objective and respected party.”
EOS also helped Bill delineate the Visionary and Integrator™ roles. He ended up promoting a longtime team member to the Integrator role and felt relief almost immediately.
“When Deb told me that I wasn’t allowed to have a Rock, my blood pressure instantly dropped,” he said. “She instructed my team to keep things off my plate as a Visionary. And I started thinking, ‘I can finally work in the areas that bring me energy and contribute most to our clients.’”
Freedom to Share and Live Core Values
Keen Wealth Advisors has a special niche in financial planning, tax, and investments for retirement for engineers. In a town filled with engineering firms, he found he doesn’t need the whole world as a client.
“Our niche is an inch wide and a mile deep,” Bill said. “EOS hasn’t changed our niche, but we’ve gotten more focused. And we’ve improved how we communicate our values and who we are to our clients and teammates.”
In fact, EOS helped the firm’s leaders become crystal clear on their core values. They hire and coach according to their values, never feeling like they have to compromise them.
“When we started on EOS, those who fit our core values got massively energized,” he said. “And our hiring process has come full circle because we know how to talk about our values with candidates. We leave no confusion.”
Freedom to Make a Difference
Perhaps most inspiring is the positive impact Bill and his firm have had on their community. Since 2021 they intentionally have given back nearly $500,000 to community initiatives.
For example, Bill is a board member and pilot for Angel Flight Central. He donates his time and aircraft to transport individuals with medical or humanitarian needs. Bill has his pilot’s license and has a professional pilot on the firm’s staff.
“Because of EOS, I get to touch more people’s lives in a very positive way,” he said. “That includes clients of the firm, team members, and our work in the community. As we’ve grown, my life has gotten easier, not harder. Now it’s sustainable, and I see no limit to the growth. None of this could’ve happened if I’d still been in the weeds.”
Bill doesn’t want his name on a building as a legacy. He doesn’t care what people 50 or 100 years from now think of him. Instead, he hopes to positively impact the people he interacts with today and inspire them to better themselves.
Sharing EOS’s Unlimited Potential
Bill started his firm with just four employees. Over the last eight years, even accounting for recent market fluctuations, they’ve grown by over 20% year over year.
He recently signed a 10-year lease on a new headquarters that can accommodate 70 employees. Bill can easily see taking his company to four or five times the size it is now.
And that guy who used to wake up feeling behind? These days when Bill’s eyes open, he goes to a place of gratitude. EOS helped him learn to stay in his lane and focus on things that give him energy.
Changing thought patterns that made him think he had to do it all was priceless. EOS has been a game changer for the firm through accountability, role structure, and providing clarity and transparency. He loves the way it all comes together. And no matter what issue they encounter, EOS has a way to address it.
“I can read all the books in the world, but I need a process I can take action on,” he said. “And that’s what EOS gives us.”
Now Bill talks about EOS everywhere he goes, especially when he encounters business owners experiencing the same overwhelm he once did. He sees how the stress and energy drain negatively impact them.
Bill and his peer group take special time with new members like this. Often, they’ll pass them a list of local EOS Implementers and tell them to interview them and pick one.
Then he offers them the following advice: “Listen to them. Don’t skip around. Just do what they tell you and go through the process because it works. The next steps will become very clear. EOS Implementers see things you can’t see when you’re mired in the business.”
Bill marvels at how many people’s lives EOS ultimately touches, likening it to the ripple effect of capitalism. He sees how EOS helps people be creative and make smart long-term investments in their businesses and lives. And by helping those people run their businesses more effectively, EOS helps the masses.
“Many of the lives we touch through our books, podcasts, webinars, and community outreach will never have assets under our stewardship,” Bill said. “And that’s fine. It’s not just about numbers, but about touching lives.”